If you were quietly thinking, ‘Who the hell’s Kate Bush?’ don’t panic. We’re here to help


The internet has collectively imploded with the name Kate Bush today.

Unless you’ve been sitting in a cave for a month you’ll know that the 56-year-old singer is performing for the first time in decades (literally – her last concert was on 14 May 1979) and every celebrity who’s ever professed to care about anything remotely cultural is pretty damn excited about it.

Lily Allen, Gemma Arterton, Frank Skinner, Michael Ball – yes, even Michael Ball (please feel free to Google him) – and Derren Brown were all at her opening gig at Hammersmith Apollo last night while Madonna, Bjork and David Bowie were rumoured to be too.

But why are people air-punching over someone who hasn’t performed for 35 years? Here are 6 reasons why Kate Bush is a big deal:

1. Her debut album The Kick Inside was released in 1978 when she was 19.
Having written many of the tracks while still at school, there was simply no one like her on the music scene. Her ethereal looks and voice, lyrical romanticism, graceful and, yes, strange dancing made her an instant star.

2. She wrote the song Wuthering Heights as a tribute to the best novel ever…
…(no, we’re not debating it) and the chorus goes, ‘Heathcliff – it’s me Cathy. I’ve come home. I’m so cold. Let me in-a-the window.’ Genius. (Obviously this topped the charts.)

3. Music critics LOVE her
Melody Maker described her last tour, The Tour of Life, in 1979 as: ‘the most magnificent spectacle ever encountered in the world of rock’. She sang, danced, roared and whispered around a mind-blowing set before finishing the show by soaring offstage in a winged leotard.

4. She made ‘concept pieces’. Get her!
On the flipside of her fifth album, The Hounds of Love, (yep, you could ‘flip’ albums in those days) was a seven-track concept piece entitled The Ninth Wave. Can you imagine Miley releasing something like that?

5. She is a feminist icon
Her fearless self-expression and the fact she kept complete control over her music made her a feminist icon who is wildly considered the most influential and respected British female artist of the last 40 years.

6. She can absolutely rock a leotard.

Jo Usmar